FALL RIVER, Mass. — Father Roger Landry, pastor of St. Bernadette’s Church in Fall River, Mass., will begin service in March at the Holy See’s permanent mission to the United Nations.

Father Landry disclosed to his parishioners during Masses on the weekend of Dec. 28 that, earlier in December, Bishop Edgar da Cunha of Fall River had informed him that Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the papal nuncio to the permanent observer mission at the United Nations, had requested that Father Landry be released temporarily from diocesan service in order to work for the Church in New York.

Both Bishop da Cunha and Father Landry assented to Archbishop Auza’s request.

The U.N. appointment will likely last for four years. “I will be living in New York at the Church of the Holy Family, close to the U.N., where my friend and EWTN conclave crew partner, Father Gerald Murray, is pastor,” Father Landry said in a post on his Facebook page announcing his new U.N. appointment.

Along with his service as a diocesan priest in Fall River since his ordination in 1999, Father Landry has conducted an extensive media apostolate. He is a frequent contributor to the Register and writes a weekly column for Fall River’s diocesan newspaper, The Anchor, where he served as executive editor from 2005-2012. 

Father Landry also is national chaplain for Catholic Voices USA.

In his remarks to his parishioners about the new appointment, Father Landry said that while it came as a complete surprise, he welcomed the opportunity to serve in this new capacity.

Earlier on the day that he met with Bishop da Cunha and learned of Archbishop Auza’s request, Father Landry said, “I had prayed during the Liturgy of the Hours over St. Francis Xavier’s famous letter to St. Ignatius Loyola calling us ‘to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them, [to] forget their own desires, their human affairs and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and his choice.’ ...

“Little did I know that echoing St. Francis Xavier’s words and giving God permission to ‘send me anywhere’ I would receive such a rapid response — or that Jesus’ words to ‘Go to the whole world’ could be fulfilled in some way basically all at once through serving the Church before the deliberate body to which all the nations of the world come.”